Fire Brigades, The Panzer Division, 1943-1945

Book discussion and reviews related to the German military.

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Jason Petho
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Re: Fire Brigades, The Panzer Division, 1943-1945

Post by Jason Petho » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:46 pm

I picked up the book from the local shop on the weekend.

I am thoroughy impressed!! An excellent effort compiling all this data into a easy to follow format. Excellent indeed!

Hopefully the Panzer Division, 1939-1942 is in the future!

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donwhite
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Re: Fire Brigades, The Panzer Division, 1943-1945

Post by donwhite » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:25 am

A little bit late for the 1st wave of reviews/comments but I heartily concur with the sentiments expressed so far. Kamen has responded in great detail over the years to many of my questions posted on this forum. Upon reflection some of those answers were likely lifted from the very text of 'Fire Brigades' he must have been working on at the time - almost word for word! I supposed if he had managed to publish earlier he would not have had to gone to the trouble and answered so many of my posts. I had no hesitation pre-ordering/purchasing this title the moment I became aware of it.

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Re: Fire Brigades, The Panzer Division, 1943-1945

Post by Aragorn2008 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:22 am

Jason Long wrote: It's hard to beat a combat narrative that covers major movement dates as well as some organizational data, specific histories of each of the sub-units that covers the multitude of reorganizations, monthly strength reports for both personnel and equipment (although tanks are oddly missing) and AFV deliveries by month.
So what qualifies as AFV in this case? And what could be the explanation for the absence of monthly strength reports for tanks?

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Re: Fire Brigades, The Panzer Division, 1943-1945

Post by Doug Nash » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:04 am

I have just finished reading Kamen Navenkin's book and I must say that I am quite impressed - this is truly the "must have" for anyone considering serious research about the employment of German panzer divisions during the latter half of WW2 (summer '43 until the end), when they were used as multi-purpose "Fire Brigades" to counterattack, shore up crumbling front lines, or to restore the initiative, often when there was little hope of anything other than a temporary breathing space.
Beginning with an overview of the creation of the office of the Inspector of Panzer Troops, first led by Heinz Guderian, Mr. Navenkin then provides the reader a useful service by a detailed description of the organization, tactics and equipment shared by most late war panzer divisions, featuring those of the Army, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS.
After absorbing this extremely useful and concise information, the reader will then be able to move on to the centerpiece of his book - the operational history of each Panzer Division during the period described and how they fulfilled their "Fire Brigade" role, often with surprisingly successful results. He also provides the reader with extremely detailed orders of battle for each division at particular points in time, reports on daily available combat strengths (including number of combat-ready vehicles) and lists all the various types and models of vehicles (Tigers, Panthers, Pz. IVs etc.) that the divisions fielded during the period.
Overall, an exptremely impressive work, which shows what can be done when care is taken to research primary source materials (Mr. Navenkin spent years delving into original German records) instead of the usual secondary or tertiary source material that so many books on the subject indulge in these days. Highly recommended, a definite must-have for any serious student of late-war panzer divisions on the Eastern, Western and Southern Fronts!
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!

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